Father and daughter reunite after 35 years
The following story will warm your heart. A young woman in search of her father who she had not seen or heard from in years finally catches up with him. News Five’s Delahnie Bain located Percival Blancaneaux and the reunion with his daughter who lives in the United States has been bittersweet. Here’s their remarkable encounter.
Delahnie Bain, Reporting
Over three decades ago, Percival Blancaneaux was deported from the US, and had to leave behind his wife and baby girl, Shashauna. As she grew up, Percival’s daughter became curious about him, especially since her mother passed away.
Shashauna Jones Blancaneaux, Reunited with Father
“My mom died so all the information about him, she took with her. I was never old enough to ask her questions that I wanted to; I didn’t know the correct names to ask for to look for him so that made the search even more difficult. So I was in Belize twice before that just randomly looking out there, knowing he’s here but just not really knowing where and not having a correct name necessarily as well. So that was quite difficult.”
Percival Blancaneaux, Reunited with Daughter
“I got deported and I tried to go back twice and they put me in jail in Mexico. I came back and then I couldn’t go back anymore. I had a friend looking for me but she changed state and we couldn’t find her anymore.”
“So you’ve been doing your own search from this end.”
“Oh yes and not only me. I have friends in the states but every time they go to the address, she doesn’t live there anymore. She got grown up and she moved on to a different state.”
The search eventually led her to the News Five website, and after a call to our newsroom, I located Percival at his Taylor’s Alley residence and passed on a contact number to his excited daughter.
“I’ve been searching for him for many years, close to thirty-five—somewhere between thirty and thirty. I’ve been watching the news, going on the media online and luckily by Channel Five I was able to get some help with in finding him. And yourself was the only person who I spoke to I believe on a Monday and you told me by Wednesday I would have some information for you. I’ve heard that many times that someone would have something for me, but you were the only person that kept your word. That Wednesday morning my phone rang and you had a phone number for my dad who I have been looking for and it changed my life forever. Words can’t—I mean how do you put into words how you feel after so long.”
“I was happy, I jumped up and down and then she called five minutes after you left. Five minutes later she called and we spoke like three hours on the phone. I talked until my ears caught on fire. I’m still happy up to now, especially when she came off the plane, up to now I’m having and we will make sure we stay in contact this time.”
“I’ve been in Belize since Monday so that’s two days now and I hardly sleep. I put my head down for a little while and spend all my time meeting my brothers; I have brothers here, nieces and nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, everybody. So I’m trying to meet everyone who’s here at once. So it’s overwhelming but it’s really positive and I’m happy but I had to stop by to say thank you as well.”
Both Shashauna and Percival plan to make sure they never lose contact again, even if that means getting him back to the US.
“I don’t know when, but I have to obviously come back and see what I have to do. Of course, I wanna get him over to the US if possible; I don’t even know the beginning or start of something like that but I’ll do everything I can to be able to see him as often as I can. But I have a number, we can talk I mean so I’m appreciative of that. To know that a relative could possibly be still here, be living. His blood is mine and he’s out there and it’s just like you go through life feeling like—I was raised fine and my family did the best of taking care of me, making sure I was okay but you always have that piece of puzzle that’s missing that you want to find him, know he’s alive, know he’s okay and it’s just like the puzzle. I feel whole, not missing.”
“I’m very happy, I’m a different person. I’m happy that I met my daughter after all these years.”
Delahnie Bain for News Five.
Shashauna’s visit ended today and she has returned to the US.